So we’ve all tripped or slipped and fell in our lifetimes, but I can without a doubt say that I’ve fallen more than you have (unless you have FSHD or some other disability). Throughout high school I probably fell at least 20 times in the hall…in front of at least 100 people…embarrassing (and these were just the times I fell in school). (an actual status I made on facebook 3 years ago). These falls weren’t due to clumsiness, they happened because like I have said before, my balance is not very good. I don’t have much muscle in my hamstrings and abs because of my FSHD so when I trip, I can’t catch myself like most people can because I don’t have those hamstring muscles. I remember one time, I was carrying a salad from the cafeteria with one of my friends and when I got to the stairs, I tripped on the first step and my salad went everywhere…so that was fun. Mostly, these falls were just embarrassing. I would fall on my face or ass in front of so many classmates, some might have even been a guy I had a crush on (but I’ll never know). Usually I would just laugh it off if I was with my friends, but if I was alone, it was pretty awkward. Everyone would just stare at me on the ground or try to help me. I always hated being the center of attention, especially when it was a bad situation like that.
Over the years, I have gotten so sick of falling that I can’t even laugh it off anymore. It’s become a major annoyance in my life and 24/7 I have to carefully watch where I’m stepping so that I don’t trip over anything or slip. Most recently, I was carrying in a crate full of stuff from my car. I had just got back from college and my stuff had been sitting in my hot car for a few days so I finally decided to bring it in. I picked up the crate and the whole time I thought in my head, I’m not gonna trip, I’m not gonna trip, and I made it all the way to the door, carefully watching each step. Once I stepped inside I thought I was safe but I tripped right over the welcome mat inside the house. My crate and everything in it went flying all over the room and I fell right on my stomach. The worst part was that there was a big candle in the crate that had melted in the car. When it hit the ground, the wax went all over the floor and I had to spend 20 minutes cleaning it off.
So like I said, I used to laugh it off when I was younger, mostly because it was easy for me to get up and I didn’t look like I had something wrong with me. It’s a little different now because my disability has gotten much worse since high school and it’s become much harder for me to get up off the ground. So now when I fall, I usually end up shedding a few tears. It’s not because I’m a baby, or a wuss or I got hurt, it’s just because I’m so frustrated and I can’t help the tears from falling. When I was in the airport a few months ago, I slipped and fell on some sesame sauce on the ground next to a Chinese fast food place. Tears starting rolling down my face. My sister and dad kept asking me if I was ok, and if I was hurt, etc., which just made me cry more. It’s hard for me to stop especially when everyone in the airport terminal is staring at me and everyone’s asking if I’m ok. I think it’s just frustration. I can’t do anything to stop myself from falling once I’ve tripped, so I feel useless and feel like I can’t even fight the disability. It’s almost like it’s taken over my body and I can’t do anything to make it stop or at least make it less known. I just want to be able to control what I do and not fall every time there’s sauce on the ground or a bump in the road.